Cisco Systems, GE Digital Energy, and Siemens have become the first companies to achieve the WiMAX Forum’s WiGRID certification for interoperability of broadband wireless products based on IEEE 802.16.

The initiative was led by the WiMAX Forum’s Smart Energy Working Group, composed of technical representatives from major electric power utilities, WiMAX vendors and industry experts.

Certification is based on the WiGRID profile, drafted by the utility industry to test against a number of key features that optimize IEEE 802.16 standards for a range of utility applications and use cases. The WiGRID profile signals the endorsement of manufacturers to make cost effective, standardized and interoperable WiMAX equipment for field area networks.

“WiGRID certification is a milestone for the WiMAX Forum and the utility industry,” said Eugene Crozier, of Powertech Labs and chair of the WiMAX Forum’s Smart Energy Working Group. “Wireless technology is a crucial part of smart grid infrastructure, and this certification will guarantee that our products are in fact interoperable, which will help create better and more competitive products.”

The WiMAX Forum is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization with the primary goal to accelerate the adoption, deployment and expansion of WiMAX technologies across the globe while facilitating roaming agreements, sharing best practices and certifying products.